What Each Culture and Country Believe About The Evil Eye
Back Button Icon Back to Blog Main

What Each Culture and Country Believe About The Evil Eye

Evil Eye Curse is the popular superstitious belief mentioned in almost every culture, representing the hostile glance cast by someone intentionally or unintentionally on someone or something. People believe that it is a supernatural force that is powerful enough to cause harm, injury, and misfortune. Thus, they seek protection against this evil eye curse in the form of sacred evil eye amulets or talismans.

Every culture and country believes in the evil eye curse and the protection charm in their own way. Let's see how the appearance of this evil curse and its protection rituals differ from one culture to another.

Why do People Believe that Evil Eye exists?

Almost in every culture, people have witnessed the appearance of an evil eye that brings negative energies, harm, injury, and bad luck in a person's life. People believe that when someone achieves something great in their life, any jealous person can cast the evil eye curse on them intentionally or unintentionally.

This hostile glance is so powerful that a person starts feeling ill and negative mentally, physically, financially, and emotionally. Some of the noticeable symptoms you can find in the afflicted person are sudden mood swings, loss of appetite, insomnia, depression, fever, vomiting, fatigue, etc.

The curse is commonly known as "Nazar" in Hinduism culture. Usually, children, newborn babies, pregnant ladies, and successful people are more prone to it.

What Cultures and Countries Believe in the Evil Eye?

Across the Globe, various cultures and countries have witnessed the appearance of the evil eye and its negative impacts. In every culture, the evil eye has been explained through multiple terms and rituals. Here is everything you need to know about this evil curse and its protection rituals.

1) Turkey

In Turkey, the blue evil eye protection charm is known as Nazar Boncuk, where "Nazar" represents Glance and "Boncuk" means Pearl. It is an ancient talisman made with glass or crystal consisting of dark blue or light blue concentric circles with yellow or white & black eye dots in the center.

What are their cultural beliefs about the evil eye? How is it given, and its signs and symptoms?

Turkish people believe that the evil eye is cast on admirable objects and successful people out of envy through the harmful glare. When someone gets jealous of something or someone, they cast a vicious glare on that person/object to cause harm.

Signs and Symptoms:

  • Financial Loss
  • Vomiting and Fever
  • Heavy eyes and Eyesight problems
  • The souring of Milk of Nursing Mothers
  • Headache and Body Pain

How do Turkish people ward off the Evil Eye?

The Turkish people believe that this sacred protection amulet holds enough power to ward off all the dark energies and ill intentions cast on them and their belongings. That is why you will often witness this evil eye protection charm hanging on doors, buildings, offices, etc., in Turkey.

2) Greece

In Greek, the evil eye or Nazar is referred to as máti. The appearance of the evil eye was first witnessed as an Apotropaic Magic in Greece in 6th BC on the antique glasses known as "Eye Cups" at the time of Greek Civilization.

The mention of Evil Eye was also found in ancient Greek literature. It is believed that people with blue eyes often cast evil eye glare on something or someone out of envy or subconsciously. This glare includes negative energies & emotions like Jealousy, Anger, Revenge, etc.

Signs and Symptoms:

All the Greek communities hold a strong belief in the evil eye curse and its impacts. Many Greek people believe that the evil eye curse gets triggered by a newborn baby as the baby drives attention and praise. That is why people spit on the ground when praising the baby and make a ‘flou flou’ to ward off the evil glance.

According to them, whenever someone cast a malicious glare on someone/something, the following signs and symptoms are commonly found:

  • Sudden Severe Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Disorientation
  • Bad Incidents or Misfortune happens
  • Emotional, Mental & Financial Loss

How do they ward off the evil eye?

The Greek people believe that the blue color plays a crucial role in warding off the negative impact of the curse. Thus the brides add blue color in their attire or wear blue evil eye jewelry or ornaments to keep the "mati" away. Similarly, newborn babies and kids wear blue evil eye bracelets for protection.

Apart from the evil eye protection amulet and jewelry, people often take the help of prayers and spitting methods to ward off the curse.

Rituals performed by Greeks to ward off the evil eye:

Apart from using the evil eye amulets and jewelry, Greek people perform several rituals to ward off the curse, which is known as xematiasma. Some of them are:

  • In one custom, both healer and the afflicted person yawn profusely. Then the healer makes the "Cross Sign" three times and emits a spitting sound three times in the air to ward off the "mati".
  • In another ritual, the healer pierces a few cloves together in a pin and then crosses it over the afflicted person's body. These cloves then burn to see the presence of the evil eye. If the cloves explode with noise, the evil eye is released from the afflicted person. The ashes are then mixed in the water and disposed of in the garden or somewhere outside.

3) Israel / Jews / Hebrews

In Judaism or Hebrews, the evil eye is known as "ayin ha’ra". According to the Jewish superstition, the evil eye curse is powerful to bewitch or harm something/someone by just merely putting a glance on it. The "ayin ha’ra" term is also used to represent evil intentions or inclinations. The term is found in many places in the Talmud and Jewish law.

Cultural beliefs in the Evil Eye Curse:

In Judaism culture, people believe that the Evil Eye or ayin ha'ra is a physical phenomenon where the negative energies emit from a person's eyes when he/she gazes at something or someone out of jealousy or envy.

There are many cultural beliefs found in Jewish law related to the evil eye curse, like:

  • Looking at the crop of a fellow person while the grain in standing can cast the evil eye.
  • Calling two brothers (or father and a son) up to the Torah consecutively can drive too much attention to a single family, leading to the evil eye curse.

How do they ward off the Evil Eye curse?

There are various ways to ward off the Evil Eye Curse in Jews, Hebrews, and Judaism cultures. The one popular way is to use the Hamsa Hand Evil Eye amulet that acts as a sacred protection charm.

Hamsa Hand is a hand-shaped symbol with a sacred evil eye amid the center that ward off the hostile glance. The five fingers of the hand bring positive energy, fortune, prosperity, and growth to your life.

Rituals to ward off the evil eye:

  • In Jews, there is a Rosh Hashanah Tashlich Ritual where a body of water containing fish is used to ward off the evil eye curse because people believe that fish are incapable of having the evil eye effect or dark energies.
  • Also, in Jews, people spit three times after discussing or praising a vulnerable person or making a future plan to keep the ill intentions and evil glare away.
  • In Hebrews, people use a phrase called bli ayin hara, which means “without evil eye.” to wards off the negative impact of the evil eye. Similarly, in Yiddish, there is a phrase called kein ayin hara, which means “no evil eye” to counteract the effect of the evil eye on someone/something.

4) Islam (Islamic Countries)

In Arabic or Islamic countries, the evil eye is known as al-ayn, a harmful glance that leads to misfortune, sickness, injury, harm, etc., on a person, animal or a prestigious thing. The evil eye can be cast intentionally or unintentionally by anyone.

Signs and Symptoms:

In Bedouin Folk culture, people believe that the evil eye curse can lead to harmful impacts, like:

  • Impotence
  • Difficulty in Pregnancy
  • Menstruation Disorders
  • Deficient breast milk
  • Sexual disorders

How do Islamic People ward off the evil eye?

Islamic people believe that when we praise something or someone, intentionally or unintentionally, we cast an evil eye on that person/thing. So to ward off the evil eye, they often use words like "TabarakAllah" (means "Blessings of God") or "Masha'Allah" (means "God has willed it").

Apart from these words and prayers, people use Talismans (Hamsa Hand evil eye amulets) to keep the evil spirits and dark energies away.

Islamic Rituals to ward off the evil eye:

Apart from using evil eye talismans and protection words, there are some rituals to ward off the negative energies and dark spirits. Like:

People recite words like Sura Ikhlas, Sura Al-Falaq and Sura Al-Nas, three times after Fajr and Maghrib Namaz to seek protection against evil energies and ill intentions.

While warding off the evil eye curse from an afflicted person's body, the healer recites Ruqyah (using words from the Quran), advised by Prophet Mohammad to strengthen a person's faith in Allah's power against the dark spirits.

5) India / Hindu

In Indian culture, the evil eye is known with multiple names, like Buri Nazar, Kudrishti, Karikannu, etc., varying from region to region. Almost in every state of India, people have witnessed the appearance of the evil eye in various forms.

People believe that most of the bad things that start happening suddenly after achieving something are because of the evil eye curse. Mostly the newborn babies, pregnant ladies, beautiful girls, kids and successful people are prone to this curse that could lead to:

  • Sudden Fever & Vomiting
  • Financial Loss
  • Injury or Accident
  • Arguments between the loved ones
  • Mood Swings
  • Mental Breakdown, etc.

How do Indians ward off the Evil Eye?

There are multiple ways Indians use to counteract the evil eye effects, like, using evil eye amulets or protection charms called Nazarbattu and objects like lemon, red chilies, rock salt, and lemons coated with Kumkuma, coconut, mustard seeds, kajal etc.

Indian Rituals to ward off the evil eye effect:

  • People use a ripe lemon and some dried chilies and salt to ward off the Nazar from newborn babies, pregnant ladies, bride-to-be, or any other afflicted person.
  • In South Indian Culture, married women use cooked rice balls with turmeric powder to cross over in the clockwise and anti-clockwise direction above the head of bride and groom to keep the evil glance away from them.
  • To keep the newborn babies protected from Buri Nazar, elders put kajal on their foreheads or in their eyes. Also, people believe that preserving a newborn baby's umbilical cord and casting it into a metal pendant or black string works as a protection charm for the baby.
  • People also hang lemons with chilies or figures of frightening demons outside their houses or offices to keep the bad glance away.

6) Italy

In Italian culture, the evil eye superstition is known as Il Malocchio. People in Italy believe that IL Malocchio is an Italian way of casting an evil eye on someone by staring at them with a glare filled with jealousy or envy, leading to misfortune and bad things.

Italians have strongly believed in the evil eye curse since ancient times; they hesitate to tell people about their wealth, achievements and success to keep unwanted attention away.

Signs and Symptoms:

According to Italians, the evil eye curse can affect a person spiritually, emotionally and physically. Thus, someone afflicted with Malocchio often experiences the following symptoms:

  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Loss of Strength
  • Losing or Missing Opportunities
  • Doing Bad or Goofy things

How do Italians ward off the Evil Eye Curse?

As Malocchio is considered really harmful in Italian culture, people use various sacred rituals and amulets to ward off this curse. For example: when someone talks about something with pride, they use an expression called "facendo corna'' with their hands by making a horn sign by raising the forefinger and the little finger.

The horn signs play a crucial role in warding off Italy's evil eye curse as Italians believe that this symbol has the sacred power to counteract the negative impacts cast by the hostile glance. That is why people also hang or wear Horn-shaped red color protective amulets, known as "Cornetti". Cornetti usually looks like a hot red pepper due to its shape and color, and it is commonly found everywhere (hanging in vehicles or outside the buildings) in Italy.

Rituals to ward off the curse:

Apart from using Cornetti amulets and sacred prayers, Italians perform some rituals to find out the affliction and ward off the evil eye curse. Like:

  • To find out whether a person is afflicted with Malocchio or not, the healer took some water in a bowl and put a few drops of oil in it. Usually, the oil floats, but in case of affliction, the drops will sink, indicating the evil eye.
  • Once the affliction is confirmed, people use milk and herbs like basil and rue to ward off the curse.

7) Spain and Latin America (Mexico, Puerto Rico, Guatemala)

In Spanish, the term Mal De Ojo is used for the evil eye curse. Mal De Ojo is popular among Latin American culture, and its origin has been traced to the Eastern Mediterranean and Greco-Roman traditions. People of Latin America believe that Mal De Ojo is an intense hostile glance filled with jealousy, admiration, or envy directed at vulnerable people like infants, pregnant ladies, kids, etc.

In Roman tradition, the evil eye is referred to as Oculus Malus. Many authors like Hesiod Plato, Theocritus, Plutarch, Heliodorus, Pliny the Elder, Tertullian, Saint Augustin, etc., have used this term in their writings to describe the presence of the evil eye.

Signs and Symptoms:

Casting intentionally or unintentionally, Mal de Ojo or Oculus Malus causes the following symptoms to an afflicted person:

  • Frequent Yawning
  • Lack of physical and mental strength
  • Exhaustion
  • Headache & Fever
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Insomnia
  • Back Pain

How do they ward off the evil eye curse?

As people believe that newborn babies and infants are at a high risk of getting an evil eye, they often use Garlic cloves (in the Roman tradition) to keep the dark energies and spirits away. Elders make a triangular protection amulet for kids or their loved ones, containing Coal, Salt and Garlic to keep the hostile glance away.

Alternatively, they place a few garlic cloves in a red string or under a baby's cap to protect them from the curse or unwanted attention. People also tie a red ribbon to animals, babies or precious belongings so that the ribbon can gaze attention instead of a person or a thing.

Rituals to Ward off the evil eye curse:

There is one traditional ritual in Latin America to ward off the evil glance or curse using the Raw eggs. In this ritual:

  • The healer sweeps a raw egg over the body of the victim to absorb the evil eye power. If the egg gets cooked immediately or the next morning after placing it under the patient's bed, it means the egg has the Mal De Ojo, which was afflicting the person.
  • Once the evil eye gets transferred into the egg from the victim, the patient immediately starts feeling well.

8) Assyria (Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Syria)

Assyrians also believe in the evil eye curse, and they believe that people with green or blue eyes are prone to cast a hostile glance on someone or something. The evil eye cast by someone leads to symptoms like headache, fever, insomnia, depression, mood swings, physical injury & financial loss.

How do Assyrians ward off the evil eye?

Just like the Evil eye amulet, Assyrians also believe in their unique Assyrian evil eye protection charm to ward off the curse. This charm comes in the shape of an oval turquoise bead with two holes that resemble two eyes. This bead is generally cast in silver or gold metal to wear as protection jewelry by kids and adults.

Rituals to ward off the evil eye:

Another instant way Assyrians opt to ward off the evil eye is to make a cross sign with their hands using their index and middle finger pointed towards the source. This way, the negative energies get transferred back to the source, leaving the victim.

9) Buddhist Countries (Tibet, Bhutan, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, etc.)

Like other cultures, evil eye appearance has been widespread and popular in the Buddhist tradition since ancient times. Most Buddhists believe that negative human emotions such as greed, anger, envy give rise to evil intentions and malicious glare. This evil eye then results in intense suffering, harm and misfortune.

How do Buddhists ward off the evil eye curse?

Buddhist people also believe in Evil eye amulets and jewelry to ward off the evil eye curse. They believe in spirituality and positive thinking, and according to them, the sacred evil eye protection charm & Hamsa Hand offers positive energy to counteract the dark powers.

Apart from Hamsa Hand and Evil Eye protection amulets, Buddhists living in the Bhutan area also hang Phallus paintings on walls and buildings to drive the evil eye away. People believe that this symbol offers protection against evil energies and brings happiness & fortune.

Rituals to ward off the evil eye:

In Bhutan, people perform a unique housewarming ritual to keep the dark and negative energies away from the house and its people.

  • In this ritual, a group of men fix the wooden phalluses in the four cardinal corners of the house to keep the negative and dark energies away.
  • Also, people paint five daggers in different colors to tie them along with the phalluses. The white dagger represents peace & purity & places in the East direction. The yellow dagger in the South direction is for prosperity. The red dagger represents wealth and power in the West direction. The green dagger is for protection and gets placed in the East direction. The fifth blue dagger represents wisdom is placed inside the house somewhere.

10) United States and other North American Countries

In the United States, people still believe that people with Green or blue-colored eyes have the power to cast an evil glance on someone. But only 2% of the North American population thinks like this. The rest of them don't much believe in the evil eye superstition.

The mention of the Evil eye is only present in the ancient history of western America. Like in 1946, the American occultist Henri Gamache published a book named Terrors of the Evil Eye Exposed!, which was later renamed as protection against Evil. This book contains all the methods North Americans or people of the United States prefer to ward off evil energies and spirits.

11) England, Scotland and Ireland

In Medieval Europe and the United Kingdom, people believe that the evil glance of a person leads to deadly effects, and there are several modes in which an evil eye can be cast upon something or someone.

For example: If you meet someone with an evil eye, your whole day gets ruined. Or if someone with an evil eye fixes their glare on cattle or animals, its negative impacts can only be warded off with a powerful protection charm. In Ireland, seeing a single magpie is an indication of an evil eye.

So these kinds of beliefs people have in England, Scotland, Ireland and other European cities regarding the evil eye curse.

Signs and Symptoms:

According to people in Europe and the United Kingdom, the evil eye curse leads to the following signs and symptoms in the afflicted person:

  • Paralyzes intellect and speech
  • Destruction of Things
  • Worsen the health conditions
  • Loss and Grief

How do they ward off the evil eye curse?

To keep the evil glance away from their kids, loved ones and precious belongings, people usually say phrases like "God Bless It" or "The blessing of God be on you and your labours".

Also, people use sacred slogans and protection amulets like evil eye protection charms, hamsa hands, etc., to keep the negative spirits away. People also wear black patches under their eyes to protect themselves from a hostile glance.

A model wearing a Hamsa Hand Evil Eye NecklaceShop Now | Evil Eye Collection

12) The Caribbean and West Indies

In the southern side of the Caribbean, people refer to Evil Eye as Maljo (which means "bad eye" in French). People believe that Maljo brings intense discomfort, harm and loss in a person's life, and any medical science or doctor cannot cure it. Only a person aware of the prayers used against the Maljo can heal the afflicted person.

Signs and Symptoms:

  • Physical & Mental Illness
  • Injury
  • Financial Loss
  • Misfortunate things happen
  • Frequent arguments with loved ones

How do they ward off the evil eye curse?

People have both religious and non-religious aspects towards the evil eye, and based on that, they follow various ways and rituals to ward off the curse.

To ward off the evil eye curse in a non-religious way, people use Blue-colored objects like blue ornaments, soaps or blue bottles of Milk of Magnesia outside their houses or buildings. People believe that the blue color can keep evil spirits away.

That is why people also prefer the Maljo Blue color in their jewelry and clothes. There is also a unique poisonous seed of the Rosary Pea tree named Jumbie Bead to make jewelry to ward off the evil eye curse.

Rituals to ward off the curse:

  • People believe that a pinch or rubbing their own saliva in the hair helps ward off the evil spirits when someone compliments or envies them.
  • As kids and newborn babies are more prone to the evil eye, people use jet beads jewelry as protection charm or put a black dot of Kajal on their forehead to keep the Maljo away.
  • There is a ritual called Jharay used by people to ward off the curse in which a peacock feather or a cocoyea broom (a traditional broom made using the midrib of the coconut palm leaf) is used. At the beginning of the ritual, the length of the feather or broom is measured against the particular part of the body. If the length changes at the end of the session, Maljo is present and to ward it off, traditional prayers are said by the healer.

13) Slavic Countries (Poland, Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Slovakia)

In Slavic countries, people believe that the evil eye is a form of witchcraft that leads to unfortunate things happening with people or their precious belongings. Kids are at a high risk of this curse as they draw huge attention through their charisma and looks. According to people's beliefs, malice and envy towards the beauty and success of others are the primary cause of the evil eye.

How do they ward off the evil eye curse?

Russians and other Slavic Americans use multiple traditional ways to ward off the evil energies and spirits from their place and lives. For example, people hang various protective amulets and sign on the threshold of their houses, like garlic cloves, a horse horseshoe, warm wood sprig, and knife or other sharp protective symbols.

People also embroidery various symbols like circles with a cross inside (called fired-eye), crescent moon (for fertility), spirals (represents universe), ear of corn (for prosperity) on clothes to ward off the evil eye.

Red color plays a crucial role in seeking protection against evil spirits as the color resembles power and spiritual values. Thus, women use red dresses for embroidery and ribbons to add to their braids to keep evil eyes away.

Rituals to ward off the curse:

There is a ritual of making an Anti-Jinx doll named ragdoll guardian (ancient amulet) by elders for kids to protect them from the evil spirits. These dolls are made with embroidery and no face as adults believe the evil spirits could restrain the doll through the face.

14) China

Like other cultures, the Chinese also have superstitious beliefs about the evil eye and bad energies. For example, in Chinese culture, number four is considered bad luck. For them, the number 8 brings fortune and prosperity. Similarly, if you spot an owl, they consider it a sign of bad luck. On the other hand, they think the cat is a sign of Good Luck and Wealth.

How do they ward off the evil spirits?

As Chinese people believe in the power of Number 8 and the color red, there is a tradition of hosting meetings and huge gatherings or marriages in the 8th Month of the year. Also, during the Lunar New Year, there is a tradition of giving money in red envelopes as it brings wealth and good fortune.

Also, Chinese people use a few signs and symbols to ward off bad luck and negative energies when hosting a dinner or a gathering at their place. Like, they restrain from offering a clock or umbrella as a gift to the party's host as both are a sign of "end" or "parting".

Similarly, they avoid gifting white flowers or using white wrapping paper for gifts as it is a color of mourning in their culture. They prefer red color for gifting as red signifies blood or life.

15) African Countries

In African culture, people strongly believe in evil spirits, dark energies and bad luck. In Ethiopia, the evil eye is referred to as Buda. They think that the evil eye can cause both physical and mental illness, and the root cause of it can be someone's sins, evil spirits, or angry ancestors.

Thus to keep the evil eye away, they perform witchcraft rituals and use various protective amulets.

Signs and Symptoms:

Africans believe that if someone has an evil spirit or evil eye on themselves, they can face:

  • Misfortune
  • Illness
  • Mental and Financial Disturbances

How do they ward off the evil eye curse?

Ethiopians use protective amulets known as Kitab or invoke God's name to ward off the destructive effects of Buda or the evil eye.

Rituals to ward off the evil eye:

Apart from using prayers to heal the victim from evil spirits, there are some rituals carried out by Africans, like:

  • Mixing water with ash, salt and lime and bless it with ancient prayers. This water is then offered to the victim as an emetic. As the victim vomits it, the evil spirit leaves their body.
  • Hitting the Victim's shoulder or arm by hand to force the evil spirit to leave the body. They also practice baptism in the sea to heal the victim.

16) Christianity

In the Bible or Christianity, the evil eye is referred to as a malicious glance capable of harming or even killing someone by just looking at it. It may be cast intentionally or unintentionally by a person, but it is believed to be cast by envy, stinginess, greed or anger most of the time.

Signs and Symptoms:

  • Psychological Illness
  • Physical Impairments
  • Mental trauma
  • Loss & Harm

How do they ward off the evil eye curse?

To ward off the evil eye curse, Christians usually prefer to say "God Bless You/Them" so that their intentions don't get questioned. Also, they use protective charms, obscene gestures and oaths to keep the evil eye curse away.

How to Protect Yourself from the Evil Eye curse?

There are multiple sacred rituals, prayers and protective amulets in every religion to protect yourself and your loved ones from the evil eye curse. People prefer Evil Eye amulets and Jewelry along with Hamsa's hands these days to keep the ill intentions and dark energies away.

Apart from that, you must be kind, considerate and cheerful about everyone around you while appreciating someone or something, so no negative vibes get exchanged.

Final Words!

In every culture, Evil Eye appearance has significant meaning and impacts. Thus every culture follows some rituals and practices to ward off the evil glare or curse.

The evil eye is a popular superstition present to date that can be warded off by protective amulets, charms, symbols and other things we have mentioned in this article. Always be kind and considerate about other people, so one gets harmed!